G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: The Movie
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In the hands of G.I. Joe, the Broadcast Energy Transmitter is a device capable of fulfilling all of the energy needs of Earth. However, in the hands of Cobra and the newly revealed Cobra-La, led by the ancient and otherworldly Golobulus (Burgess Meredith), the B.E.T. could spell the end of human civilization. With Duke critically wounded on the battlefield, it is up to Lieutenant Falcon (Don Johnson) and a new class of G.I. Joe recruits, trained by none other than Sergeant Slaughter, to prevent Golobulus from infecting the entire globe with deadly mutating spores!
* Audio Commentary with G.I. Joe Writer/Story Consultant Buzz Dixon
* Public Service Announcements
* Printable Script
* Art Gallery
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Top customer reviews
Pros: The opening which is pure joyful action personified. The animation is very well done, and the fight sequences, reminiscent of the tv show, are turned up to 11.
Cons: You can clearly see the dialogue changed from Duke's death scene. Wish they could have given an option to hear what they say. Also, it is worth noting that two of the most popular characters(as well as many others) are hardly featured at all: Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. They deserved a better send-off than this.
This is a *SPOILER* type review- please skip reading if you need to be surprised.
As far as being an inexpensive way to relive this great 80's series, this film is nice to get. A ton of popular characters make brief appearances, with three sets of *new* characters introduced beyond that. Still, for me, this film really sees the series jump the shark in a few ways.
- The 1st set of new characters are the new villains of Cobra-La: Golobulus, Pythona, Nemesis Enforcer, and various other humanoid creatures.
- The 2nd set of new characters are the new Joes, the Rawhides: Chuckles, Tunnel Rat, Big Lob, Jinx, Law & Order, and Lt. Falcon.
- The 3rd set of new characters are Sgt. Slaughter's Renegades: Red Dog, Mercer, and Taurus.
The reason I say this film jumps the shark for me is that, though I like the new Joe characters, my immediate interest isn't nearly as high in the new Cobra-La characters, or anything related to the craziness of their conception.
A secret race of snake-like humanoids that want to conquer the world, it's revealed that they're the ones who've been largely financially backing Cobra all this time. Golobulus is set up to be the biggest leader of Cobra now, even higher ranking than Serpentor. It's even revealed that Cobra Commander is part of this hidden race, and we get to see his original physical appearance before he starts wearing his famous mask(!). He goes on to get hit in the face with some mutant spores, and for the rest of this film he keeps changing into the form of a real snake, until the change is complete and he simply slithers away. That's it for Cobra Commander! If there were to be a Season 3 for this 80's G.I. Joe series, it seems this film is supposed to be the starting point. It's interesting to me that they never did make a Season 3.
A nice thing I can say about the Cobra-La characters is that their introduction helps to give the series a feeling of moving forward, rather than just stagnating and being redundant. It's just that this story line, for whatever reason, was never fully developed.
Yet with so many popular characters appearing and with all the fast-paced & intense action, I'm actually glad I bought this. All in all, craziness included, I still think this film is a good deal of fun. And I *highly* recommend listening to the audio commentary by story consultant Buzz Dixon- it's very insightful & entertaining.
What you really want to know is whether this is any better than the Rhino release from a few years ago. I always thought the Joe movie looked pretty good, but this new Blu-ray is a significant improvement. The visual aspects of the film still have some minor issues (scratches, dust and some slight color shifts that could be the product of bad prints or bad restoration), but it still looks better than ever. Colors are vibrant and detail is generally quite sharp. I noticed several visual details on characters or in the background I'd never caught before.
It is also worth noting that this is the first time the film has been released in widescreen. It was intended to be released theatrically, but after the 1986 Transformers: The Movie flopped, Hasbro and Sunbow opted for the direct to video route. As a result, G.I. Joe: The Movie has always been presented in the standard 4:3 TV format. For the first time with this release we can see the movie as it would have been shown in theaters. This means that a little of the top and bottom of the TV version have been shaved off and a little has been restored to the sides. There are some sequences when the new format works in its favor, and others where the 4:3 format works better, but on the whole, I enjoy the new format, especially when viewing the movie on a widescreen TV.
The bonus features are fairly minimal, but the commentary is surprisingly fun to listen to. Story Consultant Buzz Dixon talks about the process of writing the movie, and how things changed along the way, mostly due to input from Hasbro. He's really funny in an understated way and I found his discussion informative and interesting. The other bonus features are worth about one watch. The art is presented in a terrible slide show video format, and the PSAs are fun but represent only a few of the many that were made for the Joe cartoon. The DVD of this release is also included with the Blu-ray, which I always appreciate.
This release is certainly the best to date. If you like G.I. Joe: The Movie, you'll want to add this to your collection.